Saturday, April 19, 2008

8 years in university

Childhood should be a fun and joyful time. Unfortunately the color of my childhood was gray, the same color as the society at that time.

My father was convicted as a "counter-revolutionary" in 1957, it was not until 1979 that his name was cleared.

I was born in 1963 at the city of Yumen in the Gansu County, a small town built on the Gobi Desert. That was the year immediately after the 3 years of country-wide natural disasters. Due to lack of nutrients, it was no wonder that I was sick all the time. The oppressive political situation, the heavy burden of just maintaining life's bare essentials, contempt from other people and the lack of any proper extracurricular activity, all these could hardly be associated with a wonderful childhood. Anyhow, this was how i spent my childhood, compassionate, love to help the others, weak, cowardly, lack of self-esteem, patient and persevere.

Not until the year 1979, when I was 16 years old and in my first year of high school, when many previously convicted political exiles in my neighborhood had their names cleared and a lot of young people were busy with the just reestablished national high school exam, that i started to think for myself. I began contemplating for my future----I want to study at a university.

1980, second year in high school, I took the national high school exam, I failed for the first time.

1981, third year in high school, I failed again.

1982, i took one year out to study hard. Unfortunately a month before the exam, i fell from a 1.6 meters high gymnastic parallel bar, the back of my head hit the floor first. I had a concussion and i failed the national high school exam for the third time.

1983, I was finally admitted to the Xian Transportation University to study mechanical engineering.

Successive failures in the national exams and the concussion accident had left my body and mind completely exhausted. I didn't have energy to do much, i had headaches when I tried to read, I slept in my classes and I had recurrent nightmares. The doctor said my condition was due to a combination of neurosis and the concussion i had. In 1985, my second year at university, I was forced to take a leave of absence to rest at home. I have graduated from the university for more than a dozen years now, in all these years, the most common dreams I have were taking classes, taking exams, taking exams and taking classes.

After I got into the university , i set a goal for myself : when i graduate, I need to have another skill besides my major, I need to learn how to walk with both of my feet. After some thought, i decided to take on management, one reason was to develop my competence, another reason was to overcome the weakness in my personality, weak, cowardly and lack of self-esteem. I was a committee member of my class literature club, the class president, the secretary and vice-secretary of the departmental sport club and the vice-chair of the departmental student union. When i was in charge of the sport club, our departmental team achieve their best result of all time : we were the champion in the overall men team event in the campus Olympic for three successive years, and hence we got to keep the cup permanently ; the men volley ball team was the university champion, they even beat the university men volleyball team ; the women volleyball team was also champion for 1 year ; the women soccer team were champion for 2 years. I participated as an organizer, an athlete and a team coach in all the events above, from these great results and awards, I felt the greatest pride in my life and more importantly, i got rid of my lack of self-esteem, built up a lot of self confidence, this was extremely important to me during that period of my life.

In conclusion, though lacking some essential qualities for success, both innate and environmental, I had overcame them with my perseverance. Most people spent 4 years in university, i have used 8. But it was in the beginning of the 8th year at my university that the course of my life was changed completely.

1 comment:

David L. Parker said...

I can empathize with you I spent 12 years at the University of Wisconsin - Madison trying to find myself. I changed majors four times and finally settled on Computer Science because I needed a career that would last me until retirement.
I did not have a passion for it but it was a challenge, gave me mobility and decent livelihood.

I also can for a poor family and my father was a drunkard. So, I also suffered from problems of low self esteem and fears of not being loved.